Star Wars Fate of the Jedi: Backlash
Backlash begins shortly after the ending of Abyss, with Luke and Ben Skywalker narrowly surviving an attack by a Sith assassination squad while exploring Sinkhole Station.
The lone survivor of the Sith squad, Vestara Khai, escapes to the planet Dathomir to send a message to the rest of the Lost Tribe of Sith back at their home world of Kesh. However, Vestara unknowingly leads Luke and Ben to her location (Luke having used a Dathomiri blood trail technique on her when she wounded him at Sinkhole Station). Luke and Ben soon receive help from Dathomiri individuals such as Dyon Stadd into finding Vestara while Han and Leia Organa Solo, with their daughter and granddaughter, Jaina and Allana respectively, and the latter’s nexu cub Anji, C-3PO, and R2-D2, also come to beckon to the Skywalkers’ call.
The group soon encounter two tribes; one, a company of Force-sensitive Witches called the Raining Leaves, and the other, a group of freed male slaves called the Broken Columns. These two clans are scheduled to be united after a marathon of physical trials that will last for several days. However, the unification summit is repeatedly attacked by the machinations of the infamous Nightsisters. In order to combat these attacks, Luke and Ben gather up both clans into a singular unit to repel the dangers that the Nightsisters bring.
Meanwhile, during the unification summit, R2-D2 goes missing in the docking bay. Allana, left alone with C-3PO, escapes his presence aboard the Millennium Falcon and decides to investigate Artoo’s disappearance. She soon finds out that the astromech droid is being held by the local docking bay worker, Monarg. Allana is caught by Monarg when she tries to free Artoo, but C-3PO arrives and distracts Monarg by letting him beat him while Allana gets the restraining bolt off of Artoo. The little girl and two droids escape Monarg’s shop, but the docking bay worker and his friends try to capture them when the trio escape back aboard the Millennium Falcon. But fortunately, Allana manages to pilot the legendary YT-1300 light freighter away and into the forests of Dathomir without destroying the Falcon.
Meanwhile, Galactic Alliance Chief of State Natasi Daala is encountering more and more public resistance regarding her treatment of the Jedi. This has been occurring after she sent in a Mandalorian attack squad to capture recently stricken Jedi who the Order took before the military could. With public and military dissension growing and increasing comparisons to Palpatine cropping up, she reaches out to Han and Leia, who she gets off of Dathomir with Jaina after Allana is recovered, in hopes of repairing the relationship between the Galactic Alliance and the New Jedi Order. Daala’s problems are further exacerbated by an assassination attempt on Imperial Head of State Jagged Fel, conducted thanks to a secret politcal faction hoping to depose Fel and replace him with Moff Drikl Lecersen. And when criticism to her attention to get Tahiri Veila imprisoned for killing Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon two years earlier is backed by the fact that Admiral Cha Niathal, who assisted Darth Caedus during the Second Galactic Civil War like Tahiri, hasn’t been arrested. This point draws conclusions with Daala being especially biased against the Jedi while letting those like her – those in the military – go free. To counteract this criticism, she asks Niathal to come over to Coruscant to face trial and be freed in the end by Daala’s hand. But Niathal believes that, even if she is found innocent, no one will ever respect or forgive what she did for aiding Caedus, nor can she ever respect or forgive herself. So the Mon Calamari douses her water tank with carbon monoxide and kills herself. Daala grieves for Niathal’s loss as she is given a funeral on Coruscant.
Jedi Knight Sothais Saar is next to fall under the Force psychosis when he is scheduled to meet Daala’s secretary, Wynn Dorvan, in discussing what can be done against slavery. Though Cilghal is able to subdue Saar and bring him back to the Jedi Temple for study, Daala is now pining for the inflicted Knight to be imprisoned in carbonite alongside Valin and Jysella Horn.
Later, Lecersen attempts to break the cementing peace between Daala and the New Jedi Order by having a crazed maniac attack the Solos and Jag Fel at dinner in a local restaurant. The maniac is killed, alongside the YVH droids at his side. However, despite the implications from the attack that can point to Daala being the culprit in provoking the assault, Jag is looking for other potential suspects in the Empire who would want to usurp and replace him, with Lecersen being on this list.
Back on Dathomir, the combined forces of the Raining Leaves and Broken Columns manage to counteract the Nightsistters’ constant rancor attacks. The increased morale in staving off these assaults causes the two clans to marry automatically and become the Bright Sun Clan. Eventually, the attacks gradually die off and the Nightsisters are defeated. The Bright Suns Clan are able to live in peace on Dathomir.
It isn’t long before Vestara’s true motivations are revealed, when the Sith arrive and abduct the remaining Nightsisters so that they may join the Lost Tribe despite the attempts of Ben and Luke to stop them. With Vestara in custody, Luke and Ben return to the spaceport but before leaving, Luke confronts Monarg with the accusation that Vestara’s ship didn’t crash, but was given to him in exchange for credits to make a hyperspace transmission to the Sith fleet. Vestara acknowledges this, and Monarg is blackmailed into helping the Skywalkers and Dyon Stadd leave Dathomir. Upon leaving the planet, the Jade Shadow is stopped by a fleet of Sith warships. Having no choice, Luke and Ben kill the engines and prepare to be contacted by the Sith.
Backlash is a novel by Aaron Allston. It is the fourth novel in the Fate of the Jedi series.
Categories: Star Wars